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  • nubie - Monday, September 22, 2008 - link

    How does the audio get to the receiver?

    If the HDMI cable leaves the video card, and then travels to the audio card, and then to the TV where the audio is sent to a tuner, or to the tuner where the video is sent to the TV, it starts getting freaking ridiculous in short order.

    Wouldn't it be more logical to have an HDMI to go to the Audio device, and another to go to the TV? Is that even possible?

    I am not currently interested in paying to have my equipment functionality reduced. Although I am still being effected:

    I want to allow my mother to watch Netflix online on her TV, fine I think: I have a ti4200 and a nice little mATX Socket 754 system, that will play Netflix online just fine.

    Except for DRM. DRM has decided that TV output on a ti4200 is "unprotected", thus if I even have a TV output enabled on the card all video playback in WMP11 is halted. Any other TV output card is fine, my 6200, 6100, 7300, 7900, ironically a geforce4 MX series will probably work, as the on-chip TV encoder is likely supported by the Same DRM equipped driver that the MX4000 uses.

    They all pass the buck, Netflix claims it is Microsofts DRM at fualt, Microsoft passes the buck to nVidia for not supporting their DRM by writing a DRM driver for the ti4200 series. nVidia sits on its laurels and claims "that is a legacy product", while happily providing a DRM driver for the Geforce2 based (and now PCI-E supporting) Mx4000 cards.

    All of this is an artificial block to me using my equipment in ways it fully supports on content I payed for.

    And none of this has stopped the bit-torrenting of movies. In fact it has probably increased it, as people who have shelled out $30-40 for a DVD version of their favorite movie now shell out $50-60 for the Blu-Ray version, only to find that they need "new hardware" or they will have artificial restrictions placed on their technically capable hardware, but of course it is highly illegal to download a ripped version of that content (or even rip it yourself) so that you can play it on your hardware.

    The public doesn't understand this, in fact they probably won't notice that their video signal is composite instead of HD, even if that is the whole reason for the existence of Blu-Ray. The movie companies still keep claiming that this is "to fight piracy", yeah right. As soon as the pirate distribution of any movie reaches 1 million(or even a thousand, or even 1 if it takes me a couple mouse clicks to get the pirated copy) downloads I would like my purchased content to be released from this draconian "copy" "protection".

    Call it what it really is "usage protection". See this comic for an Orwellian perspective on the direction this could be heading :P http://www.xkcd.com/129/">http://www.xkcd.com/129/

    How long until free content will not play on DRM players? What will the excuses be? Maybe: "It is cheaper to build and saves the customer money, after all their movies should all support DRM if they aren't Pirates"

    Moo people, just watch out for that slaughtering plant.
    Reply
  • danielmastia - Saturday, September 20, 2008 - link

    I haven't read the article yet, but i looove the fact that the speakers on the diagrams are Bower & Wilkins. Love my speakers Reply
  • seefeel - Friday, September 19, 2008 - link

    Being a person who has spent time in screening rooms watching and listening to soundtracks being assembled, I can tell you that studios don't spend money frivolously on things that have no meaning to the audience. In their minds, great sound = more engaging cinematic experience = more money. That Dolby D sounded as good as it did considering it was nothing more than 5 channels of low bit rate MP3 is pretty cool. Now with Dolby Tru HD and the variants we can hear the same quality as the D1 Master.

    I find it strange that the reaction from some can be best summarized as follows- you don't need it, wouldn't know what to do with it if you had it and besides, you could not hear it anyway because your hearing is damaged. Thankfully nobody in film sound community of any note feels the same. I might suggest this link to Dolby's website which has some great interviews with professionals involved in film sound and their views on a variety of topics. http://www.dolby.com/consumer/motion_picture/inter...">http://www.dolby.com/consumer/motion_picture/inter... Reading the interviews, I'm reminded of how sophisticated film sound is in it's ability to better engage us in the cinematic experience. For a great read on our hearing facility, I might suggest "This is your brain on music" by Daniel Levitin, which explains just how sophisticated our hearing actually is.

    Reply
  • deeznuts - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    I used to be totally into HTPCs ... until I got my PS3. I know of the other uses for HTPCs (music, photos dvr etc.) but I just lost interest when I got the PS3 at launch. Criterion uses the PS3 as their reference BD player.

    Good enough for me.
    Reply
  • geok1ng - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    Another seminal article by Anand! You did it again!
    This time i could not resist and took the liberty of posting a link to this article in a Brazilian HTPC forum: http://www.htforum.com/vb/showthread.php?p=1313156...">http://www.htforum.com/vb/showthread.php?p=1313156...

    "PC audio is to audiophiles what militar justice is to Justice!"

    How long will my statement be truth?
    Reply
  • HelToupee - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    2) they only supported a maximum of 6-channels of audio (aka 5.1 surround sound: right, left, center, left surround, right surround and LFE/sub channel).

    Umm.. There is a variant of DTS that supports 6.1. It's called DTS-ES. It hasn't been used much, but I got a good deal on a compatible receiver for the same price as one that only did 5.1, so I went for it. The only DVD's I own that actually have a DTS-ES track are the Lord of the Ring trilogy. Most 7.1 capable receivers will decode DTS-ES also and play the rear center channel through both the rear right and rear left speakers.
    Reply
  • adder - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    why cant these souncards have a 7.1 ch analog out ,i.e they should output the fully decoded HD audios formats so that people who have a older receiver can enjoy HD audio. Reply
  • vignyan - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    When decoding, does the application also encrypt the Dolby Digital TrueHD or DTS-HD MA audio? If so, the same should be true while sending the LPCM audio. Either way (TureHD or LPCM), the data has to be put in the memory w/o any AES-128 encryption. The GPU support of PAVP comes with ability to decrypt the AES-128 encoded signals. Assuming the the gfx cards dont have the protected audio capability, the application must be putting the un-encrypted audio in the memory which has to be sent over HDMI channel after translating the audio into the HDMI specified format.

    Intel G45 supports HBR audio (>6.144 Mbps as with the Dolby Digital TrueHD or DTS-HD MA audio) with HDCP encryption. Previous versions of Intel chipsets did not have this capability. HBR, if i am not wrong, is introduced with 1.3a spec.

    I am too poor to know if such features are enabled on the GTX2xx and ATI48xx... Send me a sample of both and i will let you know... ;)


    Reply
  • dryloch - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    I lucked out at a store called Brandsmart,they had that receiver on Open box for under 200 because the remote was missing. This is my second Onkyo and I will never buy anything else. For the money they charge Onkyo gives you a very feature rich unit with very clear and loud sound. When I compare the sound coming out of an 80 watt a channel Onkyo to a supposed 120W Sony it is obvious that Sony is trying to pull a fast one. Reply
  • Zak - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    And I'm not buying into this BS, but a lot of people will, for bragging rights. And all the encoding/copy protection is a big turnoff for me. I just don't see HD in my near future. As many posters pointed out already: I don't want to be punished by Hollyw$$d for being a paying customer. Anyway, I stopped even buying DVDs after Shrek2 when I found out that it has around 5 minutes of unskippable bullshit. I rent them from Netflix or download for free. I'd love to have my own collection of movies but with all the copy protection, offending FBI, CIA, WTF warnings, discs are not worth buying. I'd pay for a video disk that I can put into my player and get to the main menu under 5 seconds without having to watch crap and skip 5+ previews I don't care for. AND I want to be able to rip my fav movies to my hard drive so they're instantly available on my HTPC.

    Z.
    Reply
  • gramboh - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    Copy protection on Blu-ray and HD-DVD has been cracked for a while. As predicted by many, it was a big waste of time. You can download full disc images (25-35GB on average) or x264 based encodes with DD5.1/DTS 5.1 sound tracks (4-6GB for 720p and 8-12gb for 1080p) from torrent sites already. It did take a while to fully break (I think AACS on Blu-ray was the challenge) but it has been done, so people are playing these disc images and encodes on HTPC type setups already.

    Basically the industry is just punishing early adopters. The copy protection is irrelevant (especially HDCP) to people who are going to pirate the material anyway.

    The only possible protection they can ever hope for is some online database of keys that players authenticate against before playing a title, but I doubt that level of connectivity (people having their players hooked up to internet 24/7) is closer than 5 years away, at which point uncompressed HDstreaming may be here (current HD streaming is useless and heavily compressed).

    So dumb.
    Reply
  • jmurbank - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    I agree. Studios still in the brick and mortar business. Today's world is about buying media from the internet and downloading the bought media like from itunes or zml.com. Then be able to freely be viewed or heard with out any annoying problems in between. People think downloading movies and tv shows for free right thing to do, so studios are forced to hire encryption specialists to help them find a a way to protect their investment from torrent servers at a cost of stating customers guilty for every action they take. There are rumors going around in the open source community that HDCP and other encryption methods that studios have placed in will soon be reversed engineer, so I or others do not have spend an arm and a leg to upgrade all equipment that support HDCP or other encryption tactic. Studios have to spend more time inventing new protection schemes, but when will people stop downloading illegally.

    7.1 surround sound is for bragging rights and even 5.1 is for bragging rights too. Majority of movies rarely uses the rear speakers in each scene. Also people incorrectly setup surround sound, so they do not get the full effects. Two channels is just enough for movies but people are too brain wash to think that surround sound will be better. In order for surround sound to be better, the listener have to setup it up correctly.

    Dolby Laboratories shows diagrams what 5.1 and 7.1 looks like on paper. Again on paper. In the real world paper does not stand ground for setting up surround sound. A good surround sound takes a lot of time to setup. It can take a day or a whole weekend to setup surround sound correctly. Rear channels for example should always create a null area at the listening area, but the sounds should be reflected to provide ambient sound. Using regular speakers as rears can be done but they have to be directed away from the listening area and point they directly at a material to diffuse the sound that will scatter the sound. Fancy rear speakers can be used such as bipole and dipole to ease awkward setups. Rear speakers should be at a height higher than head level while standing, but not at the height while sitting. The front speakers can be directed at the listening area. These are just small tips, but can fill a whole entire book.

    Buying the best amps and sound cards should not be stopped there. Buying the best speakers also have to be looked at although do not have to buy the best amplifier and sound cards to get good sound. IMHO, BOSE cube/satellite speakers are not the best. Sound is very psychological. This means your sound system might sound very good one day and the next day sound horrible. It can take a month to setup a good sound system, so do homework or research which store provides a good return policy when you do not like the speakers.

    The quality of cable depends on the person. I use OEM oxygen free copper audio cable because it has the less resistance which means more power can pass with out the chances of it overheating. I also build speakers and soon build amplifiers, so I just need to spend the money on surround sound processors. I am thinking of creating a project to provide the open source community to use the GPGPU to decode multimedia content because Linux does not have that support. nVidia removed XVmc support from GeForce8 cards and probably up, so I and many others are left to use high speed multi-processor setups running at 3 GHz or faster to watch HD movies in Linux.
    Reply
  • pattycake0147 - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    You mentioned that your home theater is what really got you to take a closer look at this. Are there updates coming soon on the progress? I'm particularly interested on the software side of the project. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    I've definitely got a lot of updates that are in the pipeline. The projector actually *just* died so that put a hold on things, not to mention that Omaura getting out of the market threw a wrench in my plans for the HDD/main chassis split.

    I'll get cracking on some updates in the next week though :)

    -A
    Reply
  • Guuts - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    Click the "Blogs" link, upper left, then on "Anand's Theater Construction" link on the right... I think there's a section or two on his HTPC setup. Reply
  • darckhart - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    The big issue here is working as advertised. If the bluray disc comes with all the super-bloated lossless junk, then by golly I want all that super-bloated lossless junk played back perfectly. I don't want "Oh well see your HDMI version doesn't quite support that so we downsample...etc,etc," or "Oh sorry that part isn't in the 'protected path' so it won't work...etc,etc," or "See all your hardware components didn't support hdcp using hdmi-this or new-fangled-acronym-cable-that." Get your crap together Hollywood and hardware manufacturers before selling me some half-baked product. Oh, and get rid of that DRM junk and FBI warning junk and unskippable trailers junk and any other crap that hinders my viewing experience. I bought the movie to see the movie, not solve 10 jumping puzzles before seeing my movie. Reply
  • fuzz - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    couldnt agree with you more.. HDCP, AACS, CSS.. it's all just a big waste of time that hurts the industry a lot more than it helps.

    but if you are a HTPC user with these same concerns, you really should send a couple bucks to the boys who make AnyDVD.. not only does it remove any need for HDCP compliant BS and allow you to rip any movie (DVD/HDDVD/BD), it has options for stripping all PUOPs from a disc dynamically as well as jumping straight to the movie upon insertion :D
    Reply
  • Fant - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    As far as I know even the PS3 doesnt support outputting DTS-HD 7.1 via HDMI. I believe they downsample it to 5.1 in order to output it over HDMI. Reply
  • jnmfox - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    It does support DTS-HD 7.1 but there are reported problems with some blu-ray disks from New Line, Lionsgate and some others, that the PS3 downsamples to 5.1.

    Follow the link for a list:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=10...">http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=10...
    Reply
  • PatMeenan - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    The biggest problem with a repeater solution is keeping the video and audio signals in sync (a lot easier when they're going through the same device). I hope all of the repeater "HDMI audio" cards support adjusting the timing to compensate. Reply
  • Mastakilla - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    for movies and music the sync issue can be solved on a decent receiver...

    the big problem is for people (like me) who also want to play games on the same system...

    you cannot sync your keyboard / mouse input with a delayed sound / image!
    that is the real issue for me and exactly what i would like to see some focus on in a decent (anand) article
    the forum link i posted above touches the same topic...
    Reply
  • Mastakilla - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    Been waiting for something like this for a long time now...

    I hope the final in depth article will cover all aspects of sound on a PC (movies, music and gaming)

    I have started a thread about the lack of decent information on this topic awhile ago on your forum:
    http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid...">http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview...amp;thre...

    this includes a request to review the Auzentech soundcard toghetter with Onkyo or alike receivers as well

    Hope you can make this mess a little more clear :)

    thanks in advance!
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    I don't have the Auzentech card yet but I did just get the ASUS card in and will be working on that shortly. As soon as I get the Auzentech I'll add that to the queue :)

    -A
    Reply
  • Zefram0911 - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    Anyone know when this card is coming out? I've been waiting for it since it's press release in June that said this month. Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    Protected path, all the bells and whistles would utterly fails at the end point. To make content viewable, ultimately you need to have it decoded. There is a weakest link between the image processor on your monitor and the HDCP chip. Surely uou can eavesdrop on the electrical signal coming from the monitor's driving circuit. Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    Well yes, but the mechanism to do that would be hardware based, and thus, somethign you can't download from bloorayhax.ru, which the studios are most affraid of. Remember Css? That didn't go to well for them.
    (Besides, this is moot. Read the above posts about AnyDVD HD: the encryption has already been broken)
    Reply
  • Golgatha - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    I'd be happy if the Cyberlink PowerDVD 8 software would just transcode the lossless audio to 5.1 DD and call it a day. Also, I wish the part of the Blu-ray spec was to require a DD track on the disc along with the lossless format.

    Case in point. Transformers on Blu-ray only has a TrueHD track on the disc. My HTPC cannot playback the audio in anything but stereo because of the limitations listed in this article.

    The idiotic thing about this situation is even if I bought a receiver which supported TrueHD, there is no way for me to get any kind of 5.1/7.1 signal to the receiver due to the DRM implementation, lack of hardware support on the PC side, and lack of software transcoding in any commercially available playback software. Sure my PS3 can do the transcoding and I can watch Transformers with TrueHD downsampled to 5.1 DD, but my HTPC has a much better quality picture due to GPU acceleration magic. Not to mention my HTPC is a nice Blu-ray jukebox (thank you AnyDVD and yes I own the original discs), which can start the movie directly at the beginning of the movie (thank you again AnyDVD) without the ironic "don't steal our content public service message" or any previews (which are outdated and unwanted within 6months anyway and are a waste of my time).
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    i'm sorry, can you please explain to me how your htpc has a better picture then the ps3?

    and please make up better bs then 'gpu acceleration', becasue that is just 'bs'. The ps3 is one of the better blu-ray players on the market, and I have never seen a review mention any problems with its picture quality.


    GPU acceleration is required when your CPU is too weak to playback the video, if system a is able to decode the video file, and system b is also able to, but one uses a cpu and one a gpu, then unless there is some post processing (ie changing of the final output after decoding), the picture will look the same.



    also, if your reciver can play back true-hd, or dts-ma, then it can playback LPCM. and you know what the difference in sound quality between the 2 is? nearly zero. All that happens is that in the 1st case your receiver decodes the file, while in the 2nd your pc does.
    Reply
  • fuzz - Monday, September 22, 2008 - link

    well theres probably ZERO difference between htpc and ps3 when it comes to hddvd/bd, but for playing back standard dvd the htpc wins hands down (thanks to the maturity of the technology)

    you can get around pretty much all the quality-reduction features hollywood could come up with.
    Reply
  • erple2 - Monday, October 06, 2008 - link

    Maturity of what technology? The tech used in the PS3 for all of that is what boils down to clever software decoding. The question is simply whether the hardware on the PS3 is capable of doing all of the clever algorithmic magic to make the DVD output look good. Some "high end" (read expensive) systems do that, but they also can't put large General Purpose Processors in their components, so they use embedded systems (which are VERY inexpensive) to do the crunch work on those DVD upscale algorithms. I think that the PS3 is more than capable of doing it in software (particularly given it's nVidia G70 based GPU, plus the Cell Processor). Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    Actually I believe both TrueHD and DTS-HD MA include the lossy DD/DTS tracks as a part of their spec. If you can't decode the lossless version, it should default to the lossy version. This is how it works on CE devices but admittedly I haven't played with it enough on the PC side.

    Sigh, there's so much work to be done here :)

    -A
    Reply
  • jnmfox - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    True, on the PS3 you have to make sure you have LPCM selected as your output, but if the original poster has it hooked up properly than he should be getting the lossless version.

    That is also part of the problem, so many blasted formats. I understand what they are and why we have them but to the un-Home Theater educated, i.e. my parents, it is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo.

    This is a time when the movie industry should be trying to make things simpler instead it is just getting more and more complicated and as we can see from the posts it turns a lot of people off. A lot of people that may have been paying customers.

    There is a lot of work to be done and it is sad we are so far away.
    Reply
  • jnmfox - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    Obviously I don't know your set-up but if you have your PS3 set to transcode the audio to LPCM and have it hooked up to your AVR via HDMI then you should be getting a lossless audio track not a downsampled DD signal.

    "but my HTPC has a much better quality picture due to GPU acceleration magic"

    Are you talking about SD-DVD PQ or Blu-ray PQ?

    The Blu-ray jukebox would be nice.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    This is 2000 all over again: trying to find a sound card that actually passed on a DD signal via spdif with a dvd software program that properly talked to said sound card was a PITA. Then VLC came out and ended all the BS with the a52 codec and it being a free program. I remember buying a $20 sound card and finally having the right WinDVD to work with DD, even if it was the analog ports. What sucks is they wanted $60 for the same stupid program separately.

    Of course, why bother using cyberlink and paying them $$$ for the program (the version bundled with blue ray drives is crippled) when you can buy...
    Reply
  • fri2219 - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    I fail to see what problem 8 channel audio solves, aside from "how do audio vendors sell more equipment?".

    Human brains are lousy sound locators, this just isn't needed- 6 channel audio is pushing it as it is.

    When you factor in the fact that most people in the G8 under 40 have damaged their hearing, it's even nuttier.
    Reply
  • sxr7171 - Monday, September 22, 2008 - link

    Seriously, just like the megapixel race the number of channels race is simply moronic. Reply
  • fuzz - Thursday, September 25, 2008 - link

    don't know if there's any racing going on. i don't think i've got a single movie (regardless of format) that does anything over 5.1ch.. Reply
  • nilepez - Sunday, September 21, 2008 - link

    I'm not sure about 7.1 (since virtually nothing is encoded at 7.1), but 6.1 provides a rear center, which can help with pans for people who aren't in the center of the room. 7.1 does the same thing, in theory, but I don't htink there's much advantage unless the movie is encoded that way.

    I"m actually a bit surprised that BD movies aren't encoded in 6.1 or 7.1
    Reply
  • fuzz - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    true where audio is concerned, thats why nobody has made this a priority.. the point though is not that 8ch 24/192 is so much better than 6ch 16/48, rather that these ineffective and costly practices are in place when they shouldnt be..

    the fidelity argument is also largely true of HD video.. a waste of time if you don't own a HD projector and view on a 100" screen. you won't see sh*t-all difference between your DVD and a HD movie on a 32" display if you're sitting further than a meter away.

    well okay you might if you *really* pay attention but then you'd be missing the movie ;)
    Reply
  • npp - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    You couldn't be more right.

    But people like big numers - well, 7.1 can't be worse than 5.1, right, just like megapixels, horse power, cores, and everything else.

    This aside, I find the "bit perfect" hype to be the next stupid thing. In my eyes, it's simply that most people don't want to admit that their ears and brain are imperfect, and can be fooled (by means of frequency masking). The word "lossy" seems to be a bad one, but I've heard plenty of "lossy" sound that was better than studio-mastered CD-s... And a lot, yes I mean A LOT of people can't hear any difference between properly compressed and uncompressed tracks at all... And yes, human hearing degrades rapidly with time, to a point when even a 10 Khz sound can't be heard - but you can rest assured that you have all your frequencies up to 48 Khz untouched, it's lossless.

    You just have to swallow your ego to admit this, and there are plenty of people who aren't prepared to do it. You have the guys at stereophile.com which can hear not only differences between cables, but also between their wall sockets, ladies and gentlemen. A separate power line gave an amplifier something like more vivid and punching sound, for example.

    I don't know who is crazy in this case but I think that people got what they needed long time ago and anything beyound that (read: all the 24bit/192Khz, 7.1, etc. stuff) provokes more imaginative than objective, quantitative effects... And of course you'll hear a difference if you've paid an amount enough to feed a small african village just for equipment, you have to.
    Reply
  • plonk420 - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    you could rip the disc with the slightly expensive AnyDVD HD and play it with Media Player Classic... Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    I've used mplayer on windows. Even without any acceleration, seems to play it very well. VLC is my next choice.

    Oh, we are talking about the 12GB video files here.
    Reply
  • jnmfox - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    PC hardware and Home Theater are 1a and 1b for my personal interests. Your article was well written (like almost everything on anandtech), basic enough to understand but detailed enough to give the needed information.

    I have my PC hooked up to my HT and considered getting a Blu-ray drive in my PC. But after looking into it I read about the problem you are describing. I ended up getting a PS3, I'm glad I did so I don't have to worry about all this junk (don't you love the fandangled content protection schemes they come up with ;)).
    Reply
  • Demon-Xanth - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    It seems that they were so gung ho on protecting their own "content" that they completely left their own customers out in the cold. Rather than giving the customers something easy to use and setup, they proceeded to require manufacturers to include numerous other (futile) hoops to jump through so someone that bought the movie can enjoy it.

    Hollywood, the problem isn't your paying customers. Quit taking pot shots at them.

    With the rise in HTPCs and that sort of thing the studios should've worked WITH manufacturers to create a solution, even if it's a low cost standalone HDMI output card (a la DVD decoder cards), to support BluRay and HD-DVD on day one.
    Reply
  • kymas - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    This is exactly the problem: "Hollywood, the problem isn't your paying customers. Quit taking pot shots at them."

    People buying Blueray hardware or movies are paying to have their rights taken away and they are paying more for it due to the increased hardware and software cost to make these ridiculous protection schemes work. This is another example of content owners implementing a protection system that is at best a minor annoyance to the people actually stealing the content but is a significant detriment to their paying customers. Systems like this encourage paying customers to find alternative methods of acquiring the content they want or to just do with out.

    I have been a HTPC enthusiast for about four years, which was shortly after I purchased an HD TV. I love the flexibility and convenience the HTPC allows and I would also love to be able to have HD content on my HTPC. Unfortunately, even if I were willing to support Blueray (obviously I am not :) it is completely unsupported by the open source software I use and it is unlikely it ever will be. As far as I know there is no software currently available that would allow a Blueray movie to be transferred to a media server for play back on a HTPC or other computer/device. At this point my only hope for legally purchasing HD content is through Internet distribution, hopefully in the near future someone will provide consumer friendly HD content online or I will have to sell or scrape some expensive but useless equipment.

    Sorry for the rant but this stuff really irks me!
    Reply
  • sxr7171 - Monday, September 22, 2008 - link

    If you chose an open source OS for your computing needs then I suppose Blu-Ray on PC is not in the cards for you. Have fun with your downloads. Reply
  • Cincybeck - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    I'm pretty sure the open source program he's talking about is a DVD server/client software. That allows the DVDs to be ripped and stored on the server. This allows his HTPC to act as the client and seamlessly access his whole movie collection with out ever touching an actual disc. Just point and click. Or in case of some of the more advance setups I seen. Where there's an interface which shows a screen full of the DVD covers combined with a touch screen. All you have to do is flip threw the movies then press on the DVD cover and the movie automaticly begins to play. With out ever having to touch a mouse or keyboard. Reply
  • nilepez - Sunday, September 21, 2008 - link

    Give me a break. Increased h/w costs? Blu-Ray drives are CHEAPER than DVDs were at this point in the the DVD life cycle. If you'd owned DVDs in 1997-1999, you'd know that.
    Onkyo's THX-Ultra Certified 905 receiver has been available for as little as $550.00, and it comes with more bells and whistles than 99% of the consumers will ever use.

    Software is a bit more, but prices will fall, as will the h/w, though given that prices are as low as $230 for a player, it's hard to understand why you're complaining about price....unless, of course, you didn't get into dvd until 2000-2001 when prices were much lower.

    My first DVD player (the dvd-414) was around 300.00 (and that was about as cheap as you could get in Q1 99).

    Here we are at roughly the same period with Blu Ray, and prices are at least 25% lower. Adjust for inflation, and the price of this tech is dramatically cheaper.

    Finally, it's really annoying when people pretend that DVD and VHS didn't have copy protection. The vast majority of people didn't have a way to copy video tapes and, until Dvd John wrote DeCSS, they couldn't copy DVDs.

    Conclusion: The ridiculous schemes ain't costing us anything. To take advanatage of blu ray, you'd have to buy a new receiver and drive, and both are available at prices that cheap compared to what they would have cost 2 years into the DVD life cycle.

    As for you linux based HTPC, AFAIK, there's no licensed software for playing DVDs on Linux either....that's why, in theory, DeCSS was written (which is illegal if you're in the U.S.)

    As for online HD, it'll happen in 10 or 20 years. Unless you have FTTH, you don't have enough bandwidth. Even if you have the bandwidth, it's unlikely that the place that sells the movie is going to have the bandwidth to fill your 40-50mb/s pipe.

    What you'll get is highly compressed video that isn't as good as blu ray. Inferior video and audio, inconvenient download times and you still have all the DRM you profess to hate. Sounds like a winner to me.
    Reply
  • kymas - Thursday, September 25, 2008 - link

    I am afraid you have missed the point of the article and my comments which is HTPC's. I am well aware that CE Blu-Ray drives/players are cheaper than DVD drives/players were at this point in their life cycles ... I paid just shy of $800.00 for my first DVD player. It cost PC hardware manufactures more to produce a product that supports the "Security Features" of Blu-Ray because they have to add additional components to their hardware for that support and they have to pay to have their hardware certified before they will be granted the keys required for Blu-Ray playback. This situations is virtually the same for software developers as they need to add additional code to support the Blu-Ray security and pay for the certification process to receive the keys.

    I never said VHS or DVD did not have copy protection. I indicated that the security features of Blu-Ray prevent me from exercising my rights as a consumer and does very little to prevent the thefts it was intended to stop. At the time I wrote my previous comments I was unaware of the AnyHDDVD (sp?) program but like DeCSS this program is likely illegal in the US. It is very sad that people have to resort to using illegal tools in order to exercise their rights.

    As for your comments about online HD content, you are obviously unaware of upcoming transport technologies. You will be able to download Blu-Ray quality HD content to your mobile phone in reasonable times in less than 10 years probably closer to 5 years and wired technologies will be even better. You are correct that, at least for the near future, the bottle neck will move to the provider.
    Reply
  • sxr7171 - Monday, September 22, 2008 - link

    Thank you. For once, someone who knows what he's talking about. The cost of admission at launch was half of DVD at $600 -> PS3 vs. $1200 -> Sony DVP-S7000 DVD Player in 1997.

    We won't be ready for true HD downloads for at least 5 years.
    Reply
  • Bull Dog - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    Actually you do have a solution. Get AnyDVD HD. Then use IMG Burn to create (DRM Free!) *.iso files of your HD movies. Lastly, use Daemon Tools to mount your *.iso file and enjoy you HD movie (with your HD-DVD/Blu-Ray movie player of choice).


    I don't own any Blu-Ray hardware so I can't vouch for it. I've done this in both Windows XP Pro, and Windows XP Pro x64 with HD-DVD movies.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    I'm with you on this... and the same goes for games with DRM. (Hello Spore! Heaven forbid we install on more than three PCs.... But if I use a pirated version, I can install as many times as I want.) I'm not enough of a home theater enthusiast for it to really matter, but I know I won't be buying any more Blu-ray movies for quite some time. I've got my test disc; that's all I need. Reply

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